Module 9 : Process Improvement

Module 9 : Process Improvement

Waste Elimination

One of the key strategies of world-class companies is to eliminate waste and to make value flow. It is essential for all teams in a world-class organisation to identify and eliminate waste. The result will be faster throughput, lower costs, improved quality and greater job security.

Once waste has been eliminated, the freed up capacity needs to be reinvested in value adding work. If this is not done, the waste will simply change form and there will be no improvement.

The 7 types of waste

1. Overproduction.

The waste of overproduction arises where we produce more than is required or before required. If people work ahead instead of waiting and this situation is repeated, inventory will begin to accumulate at the end of production lines or between lines. This inventory will have to be moved or neatly stacked. If these movements are regarded as work, we will soon be unable to tell waste from work. The waste of overproduction should be regarded as our worst enemy, since it hides the other wastes.

2. Inventory

When work-in process builds up in front of a process, this work-in-process has to wait, the longer the queue, the longer the wait. The valueless time slows the ability of an organisation to respond to changing customer needs.
It is often said that between 70 and 80% of a factory is not a factory at all but a warehouse used to house in-process inventory. This situation represents a massive opportunity to eliminate waste and free up space and resources.

3. Waiting

Waiting waste is generated when we have to wait for information, components, material or breakdowns.

4. Transport

This waste is created by moving parts, material or finished goods in or out of storage or between processes. To eliminate this waste, it is often necessary to move processes closer together and create product-focused teams.

5. Motion

This form of waste often arises due to the ergonomics of the workplace. This includes walking, bending and stretching for components.

6. Processing

This type of waste is caused by process design factors such as double handling, unmatched cycle times, loading and unloading of workpieces and changeover.

7. Defects, Rejects and Recycle

This type of waste results from errors and defects. When errors and defects are introduced into a process, the result is scrap or rework, which increases costs.

One of the key focus areas of Competitive Dynamics International’s Mission-Directed Work Teams® programme is designing processes for world-class Quality, Speed and Cost-Effectiveness. We can help you identify and eliminate the seven wastes and we can teach you how to apply process mapping techniques to improve processes.

Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.